meet OUR team
Kendall Ficklin and Vans Nelson founded FOCUS ON YOUR FUTURE in 2014 to help youth and young adults reach their fullest potential and shape them into the leaders of tomorrow.
Today's youth have so much to offer to the world. We believe the power they hold will mold future leaders for generations to come.
His clients say, “He’s a game changer.” His friends say, “He’s always on FIRE.” His family says, “He’s a great husband, father, and friend.” Kendall says, “I just want to engage, inspire, impact and activate people to walk in their passion and purpose.
Kendall is a rising force in the field of personal and professional development. His coaching and communication style is raw, impacting, and highly interactive. He has a gift for connecting, motivating, and empowering others. His powerful words captivate his audiences and always leave a lasting memory.
With over 15 years of experience in coaching, consulting, training, and public speaking, Kendall is one of the most sought-after speakers for inspiring and activating student and parent populations in America. His life experiences have prepared him well and made him an expert in his field: transparency, honesty, and a heartfelt desire to inspire people to achieve greatness set Kendall apart.
Kendall conducts keynote addresses, team-building sessions for corporate clients, professional development workshops for educators, parental engagement seminars, and “hard-hitting, no-nonsense” student empowerment sessions.
Kendall is the author of three books, including “Rise & Grind: Good Isn’t Good Enough,” “Ladies Rise & Grind: Empowering and Inspiring you to AMAZING” and his latest book, “Your Work Has To Match Your Want: The Students Guide To GREATNESS.”
Visit Kendall’s website for more information www.kendallficklin.com.
Vans is a senior leader that has held many strategic leadership roles with organizations such as Inspire Brands, PEPSICO, YUM Brands, The HoneyBaked Ham Co., ARG, and United Way. Vans has an extensive track record for growing Sales and EBITDA in his +20 years in the industry. He has managed businesses with +$300 Million in Revenue and over 10,000 employees.
Vans leads strategies in various disciplines, including Operations, B2B Sales, Marketing, Training, Franchisee Leadership, Supply Chain, and Finance. While Vans’ leadership impact has been celebrated, he finds his true reward in giving back, particularly in developing/mentoring our youth. Vans has spearheaded corporate community partnerships with organizations such as Workforce Atlanta and Hosea Feed the Hungry. Vans has also worked with other non-profit organizations such as United Way and Atlanta Union Mission. He also serves his community by coaching youth football, basketball, and baseball.
Vans’ impressive career is hallmarked by his passion for empowering the people around him to succeed. Colleagues and clients recognize Vans for his instinctive ability to identify the unique qualities of individuals and create ways to synchronize their diverse talents to build winning teams. Vans has developed many “Future Leaders” programs for different organizations, which spurred the vision and purpose for Focus on Your Future.
Gordon has been active in the Smyrna community since relocating from Chicago in 2000. While in Chicago, Gordon held several senior leadership positions with Westin Hotels and Resorts and InterContinental Hotels Group. He also held several corporate board positions, mentored students and professionals, and spoke regularly at area colleges and universities. Gordon was also a Guest Lecturer at Cornell University School of Hotel Management.
Gordon retired from InterContinental Hotels Group as Vice President of Human Resources in 2008. At IHG, Gordon oversaw human resources responsibilities for over 100 hotels in the United States, Canada, and Aruba. During his nearly 30-year career, Gordon has been responsible for hiring, developing, mentoring, and promoting numerous minorities and women to higher-level leadership and executive positions, domestic and abroad.
Since retiring, Gordon spent six years as a Life Skills and Personal Development Trainer for Literacy Action, Inc. In addition, Gordon serves as President of the Smyrna Basketball Association. SBA is a youth developmental and recreational basketball program that promotes “Books B4 Baskets” and recognizes academic excellence as the program’s highest achievement.
Gordon remains committed to providing meaningful career and life skills training and development and HR consulting services that improve personal and professional growth and career success for students, adults, managers, and executives.
A family man, Gordon enjoys traveling, cars, and spending time with his two children.
April began a career in the mortgage financing business before committing her time to raising her family full-time in 2005. Before leaving the business sector, April opened and managed two branch offices for Raintree Mortgage and Camelot Realty Services in the metro Atlanta area. Her leadership responsibilities were to provide training and supervision and serve as a team leader. She partnered with the United State Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) to educate new home buyers on home ownership.
After transitioning from the corporate world, April decided to follow her passion and get involved in youth development. April acquired her Child Development Associate (CDA) certification from The Sheltering Arms Georgia Training Institute. She opened a summer educational bridge camp to help with academic retention for preschool and elementary school students. April is also involved with the youth in her community by serving as a Smyrna Basketball Association board member. She enjoys volunteering her time to various non-profit organizations that focus on youth development and community outreach programs like Core Truth, Reality U, Focus on Your Future, and Hosea Feed the Hungry.
April’s passion is to take a holistic approach to empower young women of middle and high school ages through peer mentoring, leadership opportunities, and community service. She enjoys spending time with her family and friends.
Kimberly Franklin is a Cross-Functional Human Resources Professional specializing in HRIS management with a track record of success in improving service levels, reducing operational overhead, and cost savings, and spearheading large-scale client projects and programs. She is a Senior Service Relationship Manager at Automatic Data Processing (ADP), where she manages expectations within the client organization and the GlobalView (GV) Client Services team to ensure service delivery requirements are understood and achieved by all parties. Her primary focus is a thorough understanding of GV clients’ business to effectively influence the strategic direction of their current and future needs.
She is the Co-Founder of Women in Healing Grace LLC., a group that focuses on the healing and growth of women of all denominations. She is a member of the Northwest Georgia Chapter of the National Coalition of 100 Black Women, an advocacy group that promotes its national and international agendas on leadership development and gender equity in health, education, and economic development for women and children. She also serves as the Honor Stars Sponsor for Mpact Girls Ministries. This achievement-based program utilizes badges and awards to motivate and disciple girls between the ages of 10 and 12 who seek a deeper relationship with Christ through The Church at Chapel Hill Douglasville Campus. Kimberly is also one of the founders of The Grace + Grit Experience, a group of diverse women committed to using their gifts, grace, and grit to bring spiritual, personal, and professional development information to women seeking to expand their reach and presence in their worlds.
Kimberly holds a Bachelor’s degree in Applied Behavioral Science from National Louis University and a Master’s of Business Administration from the University of Phoenix. She is a member of the Society for Human Resource Management. She is currently working towards receiving her Senior Professional in Human Resources (SPHR) certification through Kennesaw State University.
Kimberly resides with her husband and three children in the Vinings Area of Atlanta, Georgia. Kimberly enjoys reading, traveling, and time with family and friends in her free time. Her favorite quote is “Who You are is Greater than What you Do ~ Dr. Sam Chand.”